STATEMENT: CCWater calls for more ambition from water companies

The Consumer Council for Water says there is still room for water companies to show more ambition in their service and investment plans for 2020 to 2025.

The Water Watchdog has responded to the regulator Ofwat’s initial assessment of companies’ business plans which set out what they propose to deliver for customers and how much they want to charge for that investment.

Only 3 companies’ plans – Severn Trent Water, South West Water and Utilities – have been given the green light by the regulator and will be fast-tracked to the next stage of the price-setting process.

All the remaining companies will need to amend their plans to meet Ofwat’s demands with four suppliers  – Affinity Water, Hafren Dyfrdwy, Thames Water and Southern Water – requiring the most substantial changes.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), said: “We’ve not seen one plan that can be considered the finished article and there is still scope for improvement across the board, which we’re pleased Ofwat recognises.”

“Many companies have not stretched themselves on issues like reducing leakage and expanding support for customers in financial hardship.”

“As it stands most people will see their bills rise by 2025 once you add inflation and the financial rewards that companies can earn but are paid for by customers. It’s important companies and Ofwat are clear with households if their bills are going to rise.”

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